Supporting change

Two conversations yesterday reminded me of how important training or other forms of support are when implementing large change projects whether involving new technology or new processes. 

In the first conversation the project had spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on technology but it hadn't had the anticipated impact because not enough effort had gone in to explaining the "why" let alone the how! This so often happens, especially with social enterprise platforms. These enable such a new way of doing things, frankly a new way of seeing the world, that expecting people to "just get it" is naive.

The second conversation was again about a big change effort but this time the plan was to offer an extensive programme of coaching. Coaching targeted at helping people understand the why of the new processes and to grapple with what the changes mean to them.

Even with the technology project an investment in coaching, or group workshops, would have made such a difference. If your large scale project is worth doing, and is going to make a difference, then surely helping people make the most of it is a smart investment?